Marian Elizabeth Marioni
Beloved Sonoma Valley resident, Marian Marioni, passed peacefully at home on Tuesday, Feb. 8, with her family by her side. Marian was born at home on March 7, near Littleton, Colo., to Herbert Bean and Anna Weber. She grew up on the family farm, affectionately called "Beansville," with her three older brothers, Clyde, Bob and John. Her father was a farmer and county commissioner. Her mother was a teacher and school administrator. Clyde and Bob became veterinarians and John a Navy pilot. Marian graduated from high school in 1939 when she was 17. That summer, Marian drove her parents to New York for the World's Fair where brother Clyde, a young veterinarian employed by Borden's, was overseeing the care of Elsie the Cow - a most popular attraction!
In the fall of 1939, Marian entered Colorado A&M in Fort Collins. She majored in music, excelling at the piano which she enjoyed playing all her life. The following year, she changed her major to home economics, got a job at the student union and joined a sorority - Kappa Alpha Theta. Marian was very popular at school. She had many friends since she had been in the orchestra, worked in the student union and was a member of a sorority. She liked everyone and loved to dance. She was the rodeo queen and queen of the ROTC Ball. A sharpshooter, she was the only woman on the men's pistol team. She enjoyed riding her brother John's Indian motorcycle around campus.
Marian met Dario Marioni, a veterinary student at Colorado A&M. They married in September 1943. In 1950, they moved to Dario's hometown of Sonoma where he set up his veterinary practice and they raised their four sons. Marian was very supportive of her sons school and sports activities, rarely missing a school event or game. She always encouraged her sons to excel in all their school and sports endeavors.
She was also involved in community affairs including her many years of participation with the AFS Foreign Exchange Student Program hosting Gunkatsu Kano from Japan during the 1960-61 school year with whom she and the family kept a lifelong friendship. Marian was extremely proud of Gunkatsu's 35 years in the Japanese Foreign Service including his appointment as the Japanese Ambassador to the Vatican. She also served on the board of directors for St. Anthony's Farms. An avid golfer and bowler, she was longtime member and president of Sonoma Valley Women's Golf Association and member of the Sonoma Valley Women's Bowling League.
After her sons were raised, she transitioned from homemaker to successful real estate agent and later real estate broker, operating Valley of the Moon Realty on the Plaza for many years.
Marian was always quick with her beautiful smile, always had a kind word to say about others and enjoyed many friends. Marian was known for her kindness, her sense of humor and her generosity. She was a beautiful, first class lady and will be greatly missed by family and friends.
Marian is survived by sons, Dan (Charlene), Jim (Leslie), Bill (Jeanne) and Hank; grandchildren, Matt, Amanda, Michael, Drew, Carol, Kyle, Kris, Danny, Katy, Pam, Dustin, Tam, Jake, Jennifer and Jessica; great-grandchildren, Landon, Pierce, Kaylin, Ashley, Abigail, Joey and Johnny; nephews, Dr. Tom Dunlap (Ingrid), John Bean (Barbara), Rick Bean, Ron Bean and Tim Bean; and nieces, Teddi Respini (Don), Judy Payne (Dave), Debbie Bean and Jan Bean. She is also survived by former daughters-in-law, Elizabeth Pierce, Marian Ivarsson Marioni and Lori Marioni.
Marian was predeceased by husband, Dario "Doc" Marioni, and her beloved sister-in-law, Helen Dunlap.
On her 89th birthday, a celebration of Marian's life will take place at the Swiss Hotel, Monday, March 7, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations to Hospice By The Bay, 190 W. Napa St., would be appreciated